The COVID-19 crisis led to an acceleration of digital solutions to track and monitor the spread of the virus, including the rollout of contact tracing apps by various countries. Some saw in these efforts an opportunity for the EU to create its own homegrown infrastructure without having to cede its “digital sovereignty” to U.S. tech companies, while demonstrating that stringent privacy standards are a winning comparative advantage. Unfortunately, these attempts have fallen short and revealed that the EU’s own data protection and privacy rules are in fact working against its efforts to tackle the virus, calling into question its broader digital strategy.
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